During the early stages of a tech company, many entrepreneurs are so busy perfecting their product and looking for funding, that creating a brand is the last thing on their mind. But in the midst of the start-up frenzy, is it really necessary to take the time to create a brand for your business? Yes, it is!
So What Exactly is a Brand?
A brand is what people think of when they think of your company. It’s not just the physical features of your product, but also the feelings consumers develop toward your product. A strong brand will create an emotional connection with your customers which will allow you to outperform your competitors and increase customer loyalty.
Without a brand you will quickly become a commodity and price will become your differentiator. When that happens you are in a race for the bottom and you will NEVER have a sustainable business.
Here’s why start-ups need a brand….
1. Establishes Your Company’s Purpose
A brand provides clarity and a sense of purpose for your company. It helps you determine what your business is and what you stand for.
2. Ensures Your Team is on the Same Page
It Ensures that your team clearly understands your purpose, goals and mission. As your team members change, your brand remains constant and they will rally around it.
3. Creates A Point of Differentiation
A brand makes it clear to potential customers why your product is different from your competitors. It shows what makes your product unique and different and positions you in the marketplace. It gives potential customers a reason to buy from you. If you can’t give them a reason to buy they will find someone who can.
4. Helps Secure Funding
Investors want to invest in companies that they believe are serious about succeeding. By creating a brand for your product, it shows investors that you not only have a great idea, but that you can also take it to market and be profitable.
5. Forces You to Clarify Your Message
Part of creating a brand is clarifying your messaging. It’s important for tech companies to understand who their potential customer is, and develop messaging specifically for them. If you are selling to tech savvy buyers, then by all means speak tech to them. But if you are marketing to the average consumer, then you need to take off your tech hat and put on your sales hat. Dumb it down and make it easy for them to understand. Tell them what problem you can solve for them, and how your product will make their lives better and easier. Remember, a brand connects with people on an emotional level so be sure to sell the benefits of your products, and not just the features.
According to the Small Business Administration, 30% of businesses fail in the first two years and 50% fail in the first five. So what do the successful companies have in common? For many, it’s because they understand what they stand for, they help solve a problem for their customers and they communicate that clearly. In other words, they have a strong brand. To ensure your business succeeds, step away from the start up frenzy for a few hours and create a brand for your business that will allow it to become a sustainable business.
Written by Meg Huwar, Owner of Brand Accelerator. Meg works with small business owners who are struggling with their marketing to help them create a brand and clear messaging, so that they can grow their business and become more profitable.